T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Anigozanthos genus (Kangaroo pPaw)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Commelinales
Family: Haemodoraceae
Subfamily: Conostyloideae
Genus: Anigozanthos,
Common names: Kangaroo paw

Anigozanthos is a small genus of Australian plants in the Bloodwort family Haemodoraceae. The 11 species and several subspecies are commonly known as kangaroo paw and catspaw depending on the shape of their flowers. Kangaroo paw is the common name for a number of species that are endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. These perennial plants are noted for their unique bird attracting flowers. The tubular flowers are coated with dense hairs and open at the apex with six claw-like structures: from this paw formation the common name "kangaroo paw" is derived
Kangaroo Paws have brightly-coloured, large velvety flowers with no fragrance. They have a sturdy stem, which is a natural perch and makes them ideal flowers for fertilising by birds. Different species of the unusually shaped Kangaroo paws usually deposit pollen on different areas of the birds' head. Thus, pollen from one species is unlikely to deposit in the flowers of another species.
Fine, brightly coloured hairs cover the flowers and are, sometimes, part of the stalk. Kangaroo Paw blooms during spring.

This common species is the Green Kangaroo paw, which ranges in colour from lemon yellow to emerald green.